The Process

I've been working on number 45 of the list: "get a six-pack". This is, of course, a continuous goal with various components. One of which is not the six-pack of bourbon tea beer I just bought...

But everyone needs a treat every now and then. 

I've been cutting down on sugar, bread and pasta, and replacing those delicious foods with large amounts of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. This is surprisingly easy, and kind of an excuse for me to get creative in the kitchen. 

Case in point: Saag Paneer, my favorite Indian take-out dish. It's creamy, slightly spicy, and studded with cubes of yummy paneer cheese. In an attempt to lighten it up and get an extra dose of veggies, I made a vegan version of this with roasted sweet potato cubes in place of the paneer, and homemade cashew cream in place of dairy cream. Quick and easy, and so good I couldn't stop until I finished the whole pot. Maybe I'll figure out portion control next week. 



Veganized Saag Paneer (soy-free)

8 c baby spinach
1/2 c raw cashews, soaked overnight
2 c water
2 TB grapeseed oil
1 onion, finely diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 TB garam masala
1/2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
3 TB nutritional yeast
1 sweet potato, cubed
kosher salt, to taste
Brown rice to serve, cooked (see note) 

1. Heat oven to 350 F. Lay potato cubes on sheet tray and toss with nutritional yeast, a pinch of salt, and 1 TB grapeseed oil. Spread evenly on tray and roast until crispy on the outside and tender inside (about 40 minutes). 

2. While potatoes roast, heat remaining 1 TB grapeseed oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions, garlic, pinch of salt, and all remaining spices. Sauté until onions start to sweat, then lower heat to medium-low and let cook until onions are translucent and spices are fragrant.

3. Blend soaked cashews with 2 cups fresh water at high speed until frothy and no chunks remain. Ta-da! Homemade cashew cream/milk! 

4. Add spinach and cashew cream to onion mixture and allow to heat back up to a simmer. Cook until spinach leaves have wilted and sauce has thickened. Taste and adjust seasonings accordingly (I usually add a little more salt and pepper). Take sweet potatoes out of oven and let cool slightly.

5. To plate: Scoop 1/2 c rice into bowl and top with 1 c spinach mixture and 1/4 c sweet potato cubes. Garnish with fresh cilantro or green onions if you're feeling extra. 

NOTE: This is my favorite way to cook brown rice:

Bon Àpetit, insatiable eaters!